Frequently Asked Questions About Recycling
What is Dartmouth’s Waste Centralization program?
What are the goals of the Waste Centralization program?
What do you mean by “solid waste”?
What’s the difference between “zero sort” and “single stream” recycling?
What will happen to all those trash bins you remove from offices?
Who will collect trash and recycling from the centralized locations in common space, hallways and restrooms?
What do I do if my plastic trash container needs to be cleaned?
What do I do if the plastic trash container needs to be replaced? How do I get another container?
What if the Waste Centralization program isn't working in my building location.
Can I recycle microwave food packaging that is now empty? What about soiled napkins or empty pizza boxes that have a few crumbs left inside? Do I have to rinse cans and bottles?
Where are the composting sites on campus?
Where does our compost go?
Does the Waste Centralization program save money?
What about materials like batteries and computers, how do these get recycled?
How do I throw out batteries?
Where does our recycled material go?
How do Dartmouth employees know that items are recycled?
In June 2010, Dartmouth launched a new sustainability initiative to increase its recycling rate and divert even more trash from the landfill. The new Waste Centralization program is a system for collecting trash and recycling from offices, classrooms, and conference rooms. The program aims to heighten individual awareness of how much trash is produced, and calls on all employees to improve their recycling habits.
With this program, there are centralized locations for collecting recycling and trash, and employees carry their trash and recyclables to that central location. All faculty and staff, including those at the professional schools, on the Hanover campus and at Centerra Office Park in Lebanon, participate.
By 2015, Dartmouth’s paper, aluminum, glass and plastic recycling rate will hopefully climb from 11 percent to 40 percent, which will divert approximately 50 percent of Dartmouth trash, the total solid waste, from the landfill. The Waste Centralization program, in partnership with Northeast Waste, uses the Zero-Sort™, or single-stream, approach to recycling. Mixed paper, aluminum cans, glass, and plastic will all be collected in one container, and then processed by specialized equipment at the recycling center in Williston, Vt.
Solid waste refers to all the trash and garbage that Dartmouth generates. It includes all of the recyclable items, plus things like plastic food wrappers, that can’t be recycled. Dartmouth’s Waste Centralization program aims to improve the rate of recycling, decrease the amount of solid waste thrown out, thus diverting more from the landfill.
Both terms describe a method of recycling where paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum cans are co-mingled as they are collected. Dartmouth works with Northeast Waste, part of Casella Waste Systems of Rutland, Vt., to recycle these items, which are processed at a facility in Williston, Vt., designed to separate the items.
They will be either re-used or go to a surplus re-seller.
The plastic trash bucket can be cleaned in restrooms or kichen areas, and it is dishwasher safe.
Contact the assigned building custodian, or email Dartmouth.Recycles@Dartmouth.EDU, or call the custodial office at 646-2050.
Dartmouth Recycles will work with the people in your department or division or area to find solutions. Contact Dartmouth.Recycles@Dartmouth.EDU or call the custodial office at 646-2050.
Items with lots of food residue should go in the trash, not the recycle bin. However, a few crumbs in pizza boxes or on napkins are okay for recyclables. The plastic “clam shell” take-out containers should be lightly rinsed or wiped. Bottles and cans should be empty; no need to rinse them out. Dartmouth recycles #1-7 plastic.
Composting sites are mainly in the dining areas, including Courtyard Café, Thayer Dining Hall, and the Hanover Inn. There are also composting sites in McKenzie Hall, Gilman Biological Sciences Building, and in the Mid Mass residence hall kitchen. Over the next five years, Dartmouth Recycles aims to add composting sites around campus, especially in areas with high concentrations of staff offices as well as student social spaces. This will further improve Dartmouth’s landfill diversion rate.
If you want to establish a compost pickup in your building, contact Dartmouth Recycles at 646-2050 or email Dartmouth.Recycles@Dartmouth.EDU.
Food waste is collected by Dartmouth Dining Services and FO&M custodians, and the Dartmouth Recycles crew transports it to Dartmouth’s composting facility nearby. There, food waste is mixed with used horse bedding, manure, and yard waste also generated at Dartmouth. The items are then allowed to decompose for about 60 days to make the compost that is used solely on Dartmouth grounds. Dartmouth does not have a license to sell the compost, nor can the Dartmouth facility accept items from other sources.
Dartmouth launched the Waste Centralization program to improve its recycling rate, not to save money. There will be an initial savings of about $20,000, which was the annual cost for plastic bin liners. The college expects to save labor with centralized collection allowing the custodial staff to focus on more complex cleaning tasks such as restroom sanitation and floor and carpet maintenance.
These items are referred to as Universal Waste, which is hazardous waste that contains mercury, lead, cadmium, and other substances harmful to human health. This includes batteries, fluorescent light tubes, and electronic devices.
Electronic waste, like computers, monitors, keyboards, phones, and iPods, are recycled by Wincycle based in Windsor, Vt. Dartmouth works with Northeast Lamp Recycling of East Windsor, Conn., to recycle light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and batteries.
Each building should have a battery bin for collecting spent batteries of all sizes. Call 646-2050 or email Dartmouth.Recycles@Dartmouth.EDU to find out the locations.
The Zero-Sort™ items (paper, cans, plastic, glass) go to Williston, Vt.
Cardboard is picked up by Solvay Paperboard and recycled in Syracuse, NY.
Universal Waste is processed by Northeast Lamp Recycling of East Windsor, Conn.
Computers and cell phones are recycled by Wincycle in Windsor, Vt.
For the Universal Waste, the College receives documentation from the vendor (the recycler) stating the product and manufacturer's information and weight. Universal Waste is monitored by state law through transportation manifests from Dartmouth to its reclamation destination. For the Zero-Sort™ recycling, Northeast Waste provides us with the weight of the material they haul away.
What if I have more questions?
Call 646-2050 or send an email to Dartmouth.Recycles@Dartmouth.EDU .
Last Updated: 9/28/10